Jocelyn Tanner’s poise leading Jackrabbit soccer back to NCAA College Cup

Karl’s TV & Appliance Athlete of the Week
Published: Nov. 7, 2023 at 1:48 AM CST
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BROOKINGS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Jocelyn Tanner never grew up wanting to be a goal keeper.

It was her love for the other kind of football, and another position, that start to endear it to her.

“I was a big part, I was kind of like the quarterback! And I love football! I was the one that I was like, I’m never going to play goalie! Why would anyone want to do that? But I loved that I could decide the game.” Jocelyn says.

The Minnesota native, whose family had roots in Brookings, would quickly get a chance to lead the South Dakota State soccer team, taking over as their full time goalie in her second season.

“Really for me it’s been my confidence that no one’s going to score on me and that I’m the best keeper and that’s all I can plan on.” Tanner says.

From 2021 through 2022, Jocelyn played in 37 matches, going 22-4-4 with just 23 goals allowed, winning Summit League Goalkeeper of the Year each season and leading the Jacks to the NCAA tournament in 2021.

“She’s been in a lot of big games. She’s won some tournaments for us in the past. Experience matters. Especially at the goalkeeping position.” SDSU Head Coach Brock Thompson says.

That would be put to the test more than ever this season when State lost their all-time leading scorer, Maya Hansen, to injury after seven games, putting more pressure on Tanner to limit opponent’s scoring chances.

“You know I don’t mind the pressure. I like to step up to the pressure.” Tanner says.

As usual Jocelyn rose to the occasion, going 11-3-3 with a 0.86 goals against average, capping it off with a 1-0 shutout of Omaha in the Summit League Tournament Championship.

“It’s just like a relief knowing that Jocelyn is back there especially because she is so strong. I know our team feels like they can play the ball back to her whenever and we know that she’s going to come up and make the big saves when she needs to.” SDSU Freshman Forward/Midfielder Ellie Gusman says.

Giving her the chance to quarterback her soccer team once more....

“This is great! I couldn’t ask for a better finish, to win at Fishbach, you know, it’s all I could ask for!” Jocelyn says. the NCAA College Cup!